Oh my goodness, can I just tell you how wonderful and amazing and miraculous it is being a missionary?!?!?!?!
There's a song that's been running through my head since yesterday afternoon . . . remember the one from Fiddler on the Roof that goes "Wonder of wonders, miracles of miracles..."? Well, that's the one that's been in my head! Now, let me tell you why...
Earlier this week (Wednesday), our zone leaders came out on team-ups with us (that just means they come out to teach a lesson with us to see how we're doing), and they are amazing at talking to everyone. One person they/we talked to was a young man (in his 20's) named Cesar. One of the elders noticed a tattoo of la virgin (Virgin Mary) on his arm, pointed to it and asked him if he was religious. Turns out he'd never been to a church before in his life, but his grandmother was a devout catholic, and he'd gotten the tattoo in honor of her when she passed away. He asked if we were from a church or something, so we asked him if he'd ever seen the big white building on Santa Monica and Overland (the temple). "Oh that's you guys?! I go by there all the time, and I've always wanted to go up and see it, but I've never really known if I could." We told him that of course he could, and we'd love to take him on a temple tour (guided walk around the grounds) sometime this week. He was super excited and said that he'd love to, but had to check his work schedule. So we got his phone number and address and promised to call him. When we called him a day or two later, he was again SO excited to come up. Well, things ended up falling through, but he called us right as he got off work Saturday night at 10:29pm (right before bedtime) to see if there was another time to come. We invited him to church the next day, and he told us that he'd love to come! "Ok, so I'll see you at 2 then!"
Those are the words that I love to hear!!!!
Well, Sunday morning comes, and in our first two wards (our Spanish and family wards) no one shows up. NO ONE. Not even our regulars! RRRRGH. As 2pm comes, right before the singles ward starts, we were outside waiting for and calling the four other people who were supposed to come to that ward. Nobody. Finally, we got a text (we can receive them but not send them) from Cesar telling us that he was on his way. So we went on inside and waited in class; about 10 minutes later we get another text telling us that he was outside. We went out and got him, and he was so happy to see us! He came right in, telling us how excited he was, and how nice it was that we'd invited him. He really enjoyed the gospel principles class, and we set him up with one of the ward missionaries for PH. When we met back up for SM, he was still going strong, just loving it! We introduced him to lots of people, and he really seemed to enjoy Sacrament Meeting. Sat quietly and very attentively through the whole thing. So right after it was over, we asked him how he'd liked it, and if we could teach him a little bit. He said yeah, he'd love that. So we grabbed another member and an empty classroom, sat down and taught him. Mostly, we just ended up teaching about who God and Jesus Christ are, how much they love and are aware of us, and how blessed we are as we follow them. He literally just soaked it all up, and had tons of questions and comments. He's been looking for something in his life lately -- knew something was missing, but didn't know what. Anyways, we committed him to baptism for may 9th, and he was thrilled. Honestly, thrilled. He couldn't thank us enough for the opportunity. That was really humbling for me. THEN, he came to a baptism that was happening right after wards at 6pm!!!!!
I LOVE being a missionary!!!!!!!
We're going to hike the Hollywood sign today...I'll send pictures!!!
Love you more than you know!!!!
I love being a missionary!!!!!!!
HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!!!!!!!
PS . . . for those of you looking for or who read the "Troll" story, sorry, it was determined to be an "urban legend", so we removed it. No blame on or offense to whoever passed it through to this point, and I appologize for not checking it sooner. (Sallie's Dad)